When it comes to selling hot tubs, the way you serve your customers can be a deciding factor for whether or not a customer purchases from you, even if the customer has already purchased products from your business in the past. Why? Because what happens after the spa purchase will determine the way your customers see your company in the long-term.
According to ZenDesk, 83% of customers cite good customer service as a major deciding factor in choosing a brand and type of product to purchase. 77% of customers think that good customer service is critical to earning brand loyalty. This is not a coincidence.
Hot tubs are an investment purchase more than an impulse one, which means the customers who purchase them want to do so knowing that they have their dealer’s support throughout the lifetime of the product. Who should they plan to call with questions about water care? Or if they need service assistance?
When your customers feel taken care of by your dealership, they tell others. According to Forbes, recent studies indicate that 64% of marketing executives believe that word of mouth is the most effective sales strategy, which is a big reason why your style of customer service makes such a difference for your business.
Not only that, Forbes studies show that 84% of companies that work to improve customer service practices report an increase in their revenue. Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers.
David Isaacs, of Isaacs’ Pools and Spas in Johnson City, TN, and an avid Bullfrog Spas dealer, has an excellent plan for long-term customer care. His customer-centric strategies stand out as above and beyond the usual. He willingly shared some excellent tips and ideas with us.
According to Isaacs, “As soon as the customer purchases their spa, we set up text communication and automatically send them links to a series of videos put together by our team,” he says. “The videos cover everything from what to expect during delivery to how to care for their water.”
Instructional Video Series
Isaacs and his team have invested in their customers by creating an entire series of videos intended to answer customer questions before the customers even think to ask them. In this way, Isaacs’ team keeps ahead of customer needs by anticipating what those needs are going to be.
By setting up text communications, the customer is connected to the dealership throughout the delivery process and beyond, which means they have the ability to make requests and ask questions however and whenever they want. This also comes in handy when the delivery team requests pictures of the yard or space where the spa is being delivered. This saves the delivery team quite a bit of time and effort since it cuts way back on the need for them to do site visits before delivering a spa.
“There are a number of touchpoints between spa purchase and spa delivery, and keeping those touchpoints open and low-stress requires a specific amount of caretaking,” Isaacs states. “A hot tub purchase is an investment. It really helps if your customers understand that the dealer where they purchased it is planning to be there to support them for the long-term life of the product.”
After the Delivery
Once the spa has been delivered, Isaacs’ team touches base again with a phone call to make sure everything went well and find out if the customer has any further questions. This way, the customer understands that the dealership wants to keep in touch. At this point, they are establishing a longer-term relationship with customers who will choose to return to their dealership for all their future spa care needs.
Following this touchpoint, the customer then receives more video links explaining common problems and potential maintenance issues. By sending these videos, Isaacs and his team answer a whole lot of possible questions before the customer has time to think of them. It’s a very intuitive way to run their business.
Water care is perhaps the new spa owner’s biggest hurdle. Many new spa owners require a bit of a learning curve to figure out how to effectively manage the care of their spa water. The first 90 days of spa ownership is the most crucial time for establishing good water care habits.
Now, even though the videos are up-to-date and an extra special touch, Isaacs and his team take their customer service standards a step further by offering a free Spa School course. They invite new spa owners to their educational showroom, where Isaacs himself (a former college professor) introduces the students to his sales and service staff, and then proceeds to give a high-quality seminar that covers all the basics of spa ownership and maintenance.
The seminar is made more personal with participation gifts and other prizes that can be won, including fun spa accessories and water care items that all new spa owners find attractive. Who doesn’t like getting free stuff?
The whole spa school concept adds significant value to the customer’s purchase, because the dealer is offering something the customer can’t get somewhere else. In certain circumstances, education is worth more than gold. Can you really put a price on a new spa owner who has an opportunity to take a hands-on class about caring for their investment, free of charge? The value is built into the original purchase.
After Spa School and Water Care Basics
Sure, spa school is a great idea. But then what? You can only do so much for a customer before it’s time to turn them loose and let them care for their spa. After the customer completes the Isaacs Pool and Spa training classes, that’s exactly what happens. Of course, it’s helpful to check in on your customers with a periodic email or reminder.
Some ideas for these touch points might be a reminder about changing the water every three to six months, or updates about new products or accessories. Tips or reminders for seasonal changes and ways to keep your spa in tip-top condition.
These check-ins should come from both the sales side, and the service side of your business, or at the very least representing both.
For the team at Isaacs Pool and Spa, this is the point where the sales department turns new spa owners over to their robust service department for warranty and service tips, issues, and needs. Of course, the service department is trained well in upselling. Anyone need water-line cleaner? Don’t worry. The tech crews will make sure to mention it.
For the customer who has water issues that seem harder to solve than what they learned at spa school, Isaacs offers a water lab at their facility, where customers can bring in a sample of their water and have the experts show them exactly what their spa needs to function with clean, clear water.
There will always be something more a customer needs, or something that will improve their spa usage experience. The important thing is that you find reasons to draw your customers back into the showroom. The more they visit, the fewer years tend to pass between spa upgrades.
In the End
No matter what you choose to offer your customers as long-term incentives, the bottom line comes down to whatever you can offer that can’t be found anywhere else. Free stuff is always fun, but excellent service coupled with a strong education will always, always be longer-lasting. And there is nothing more valuable than a life-long customer.
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